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Idaho Art Lab powered by miracles

Published On: Jun 03 2013 05:51:39 PM CDT   Updated On: Jun 04 2013 04:47:53 PM CDT

The Idaho Art Lab's executive director says it's an 'amazing opportunity' in St. Anthony.

ST. ANTHONY, Idaho -

The woman behind the Idaho Art Lab said the local nonprofit is running on "miracles," but it also takes money to run a business.

Executive Director Kara Hidalgo would rather work for free than see the Idaho Art Lab in St. Anthony disappear. She never takes a day off.

She doesn't take a salary, either. Neither does her husband, Daniel, who sells bison dung art and teaches classes on the side.

“Every summer, he makes enough to scrape by,” said Hidalgo.

So the pair volunteer about 60 hours each week on an operating budget of about $12,000 a year.

They've gotten a few grants, but they haven't been for much.

The art lab does charge low fees to use some equipment, but Hidalgo said not many people take advantage of it.

"We are making it month to month with little miracles,” she said.

Why are the Hidalgos keeping the lab open?

"Every day, people come in and we see that we're changing lives,” she said.

William Crockett is the perfect example of that.

"I like it here because I like to do art,” the teen said.

Hidalgo is happy to let him and his friend Sam into the art lab, even when it should be closed.

After all, it's there to be enjoyed.

"We have an amazing opportunity here in this small town, with the largest art center -- the flagship art center in Idaho,” she said. “Tell your friends about it. Come in and see what it's all about. Help us spread the word. If everybody works together and we all share the message, I think this will be thriving."

The Idaho Art Lab welcomes artists of all ages and skill levels.

It also hosts shows featuring professional artwork.

For more information on upcoming events, go to